Clinton Theatre

526 N. Western Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90004

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 22, 2015 at 1:03 am

The “Theaters Under Construction” column of the July 2, 1938, issue of The Film Daily listed the Clinton Theatre in Los Angeles as a 750-seat project for operator C. W. Blake. The $75,000 house was expected to be completed by August 1. It was designed by architect Raphael A. Nicolais.

Raphael Nicolais had earlier designed at least one theater in Fort Worth, Texas, but by 1929 he was practicing from an office on Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles.

eddiegarcia90601 on February 7, 2012 at 11:49 pm

I actually worked at the Clinton Theater in the late 80’s when it was owned by Plaza Entertainment! I lived down the street. It was a bit run down by that time, but it was a great deal for a double feature.

offhollywood on June 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I had no idea there was ever a theater so close to me. I’m usually looking at the listings in my home state. I actually bought my mattress from one of the stores on that strip.

drb on March 17, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Here’s the end of “Wizard of Speed and Time” showing the Clinton, both inside and outside. I have more than one friend who was an extra in that crowd scene.

I’ll make some screencaps later.

kencmcintyre on April 10, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Here is a 1983 view of the Clinton:

Michael on March 21, 2008 at 2:31 pm

I saw many movies here when I used to live in the n'hood when I first moved to LA. It often ran double bills for a cheap price. Very rundown by that time, but within walking distance and very affordable.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 28, 2007 at 10:18 pm

As might be surmised from the various photos linked from comments above showing the Clinton’s simple, art moderne facade, the building dates from the late depression year of 1938, according to a report generated by the L.A. city planning department’s zoning information system.

kencmcintyre on August 17, 2007 at 8:23 pm

The Clinton was showing a Charlie Chaplin double bill in November 1976, so there may have been a period where they were showing revival films or classics.

koekoemoeloekoe on July 29, 2007 at 11:49 am

Here is an exterior image from ‘The Wizard Of Speed And Time":
View link

There are also scenes from the inside of the theater.

kencmcintyre on July 25, 2007 at 8:33 am

It’s a Korean mattress store now.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 23, 2007 at 3:57 am

A minor point, but the street name is Western Avenue, not Western Boulevard.

koekoemoeloekoe on July 23, 2007 at 2:24 am

The Clinton was featured in Mike Jittlov’s film, “The Wizard Of Speed And Time.” It is near the very end and has the movie’s title in the marquee as part of the script.

kencmcintyre on June 8, 2007 at 6:30 pm

The Clinton was showing “The Flasher” and “Personnels” in 1974. Possibly adult films, but I can’t tell for sure from the titles.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 24, 2004 at 4:28 am

I remember seeing foreign films at the Clinton several times in the early 1960s. It wasn’t as tidy (or as pretentious) as the Cinema, a mile or so up Western Avenue, but had a very laid-back atmosphere, and the audiences were more bohemian. In fact, the Clinton audience always seemed to me a bit more knowledgeable that the audiences at the better-known art houses. I had some interesting conversations in the lobby. It was actually a very good place to see a movie.

kd6dkc on March 4, 2004 at 9:54 pm

In the early 1960s, the Clinton featured mostly foreign movies and members of the audience could often be seen eating grapes or other snacks brought from home and the management seemed to have no problem with that atypical moviegoing behavior.

William on October 8, 2001 at 3:53 pm

The Clinton was located on Western Ave, about 1 ½ to 2 miles north of the Embassy theatre. The Clinton was another medium sized theatre, with very little style. The Clinton has been gutted and is now a store. The Clinton seated around 700 people.